MORE 999 callers than ever before are now using mobile phones rather than landlines when ringing West Yorkshire Police for help.

The figures are released in a report by the Chief Constable Colin Cramphorn to the Police Authority Performance Review Committee which meets on Friday .

There has been a steady rise in 999 calls since 1994, reaching a peak of 533,523 in 2001-2002.

Mr Cramphorn said: "The main reason for the increase in 999 calls has been due to the widespread use of mobile telephones.

"The number of 999 calls made from mobiles has increased annually to such an extent that they exceeded emergency landline calls for the first time last year."

But when examined over a six-week period, only 46% of 999 calls were deemed actual emergencies.

The volume of non-emergency 999 calls to the force has fallen to less than half the level it had eight years ago.

The report also highlights other areas of concern.

Internal calls throughout the force are steadily increasing due to increasing pressures on the radio network.

And callers using the non-emergency 0845 and helpdesk numbers are frequently cut short. Help desks receive 1.5m calls a year.

Mr Cramphorn said: "Helpdesk volume is very high and performance is consistently below target, with an unacceptable level of calls being abandoned."


Emergencies when a crime is happening or there is danger to life: 999

West Yorkshire Police main number for non-emergencies or to report a crime: 0845 6060606

Huddersfield police helpdesk to ask for advice: 01484 436659

Crimestoppers to give anonymous information: 0800 555 111